Samui Rescue Center

We help cats & dogs as much as we can! We love volunteers be they here for one hour or for one year – they help us through all sorts of crises when we are short-staffed.

Koh Samui - A Paradise?

Yes, but not for dogs or cats! Koh Samui is a tropical island in the South of Thailand, approx 25 km across, with many beautiful beaches, thousands of coconut palms, 25,000 inhabitants and several hundred bungalow resorts and hotels. There are also hundreds of stray or soi dogs ('soi' in Thai means street) begging for food. Most of the soi dogs live in small packs and remain within their territory. This territory is defended by the whole pack and it is very hard for new dogs to join a pack.

Until April 1999, there was no vet on the island and medical treatment for animals was impossible. Countless sick or injured dogs and cats died wretchedly and were completely ignored as they lay by the roadside. Even small bite wounds can prove lethal because, in the tropics, flies deposit their eggs in the cuts with the resulting maggots eating their way deeper and deeper into the animal. All it takes is a thorough cleansing and some powder and even large injuries infected with hundreds of maggots can heal quickly.

Dogs have puppies twice a year. Mongrels are particularly fecund and litters with ten puppies are not uncommon. If only five out of ten puppies survive, that 10,000 living pups per year from 1,000 bitches. Before we started in April 1999, in an effort to curtail the number of soi dogs, the government carried out mass poisonings and the problem was solved for a time. For the tourists who had to witness this, their holidays were ruined. Even dogs with owners had two litters a year and the Thai people, not knowing how to deal with puppies, took them to the temple. There, the dogs were fed by the monks with some rice and other leftovers but, if there were too many, the government also poisoned these dogs. As the majority of the Thai population is very poor, and the only vet at that time was on the mainland, travelling there with a dog was not feasible. The average salary is about 5 Euro a day; the price for a castration is about 30 Euro.

When we started helping the dogs on Koh Samui, there wasn't much of a cat problem as dogs eat cats (sad but true). As our work with the dogs progressed and their numbers fell, and the cat population grew. As a result, we had to address the cat problem so we started to neuter and look after the cats on the Island and this work continues still.


A Different Kind of Vacation

Koh Samui once - Koh Samui for ever! If you have visited Koh Samui once and fallen in love with the island, you will always come back! Good for the dogs and cats! During the last years many animal lovers had come who had a lot of fun working with and for the animals. Thank you ever so much! It doesn’t matter if you want to help only for a couple of hours or longer; every helping hand is welcome. Around 250 dogs and 100 cats are waiting to be cuddled. You can also come with children.

The dogs and cats are all very nice and lovely and for kids it is for sure and unforgettable experience to play with so many dogs and cats. We always depend on animal loving tourists spending their holidays on the island and are willing to help us. They help us to catch the dogs and bring them to our vet, Dr Sid, when they have been in accidents or bitten by other dogs. It is also enough to just stay with the injured animal until our helpers come to pick it up. Just call us and we come as soon as possible. 

There are always dogs that need to be castrated and need looking after during the recovery. It is already of great help if you look for un-castrated animals at the hotel ground you're staying at. Please call us and show these dogs and cats to our helpers so we can catch them for castration. Dogs and cats that have been neutered already you can recognize by a green tattoo in the ear! If there aren´t any cats or dogs at the hotel, that is a very bad sign. This means most probably that the animals are disposed of – no matter how!

If you spend your holidays on Koh Samui and want to help at the DRCS you are most welcome to do so! There is a lot of work to do and previous experience is not required. Everybody can cuddle dogs and cats! About 250 dogs and 100 cats are waiting to be cuddled. Vets and veterinary students wishing to gain practical experience are welcome any time!

We love volunteers be they here for one hour or for one year – they help us through all sorts of crises when we are short-staffed. Please contact before you come and we can discuss what you can do to help. Regardless of what you do (painting walls, spraying dogs, de-ticking dogs, bathing dogs, looking after the cats, loving the animals, etc), please wear old clothes – the dogs just love to jump up on Armani! You will be working in the sun a lot so please make sure you are suitably clad for this and have sun cream and a hat. You may end up working on your own as I cannot be at the big shelter every day (I try to get there every second day).


How to find us?

We have two shelters: a small one in Chaweng at our house and the large one at Ban Taling Ngam in the south west of the island.

Contact / Enquiry


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